According to The New York Post, Binyaminov said that a member of his wife's family was killed in the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. He told reporters that he saw the assailant stealing the flag and stepped outside to confront him. He said, "So I got dressed, came out. I confronted him. I told him, ‘Give me the flags,’ and he just started fighting with me and punching me in my face.”
Binyaminov explained that in the fracas, "He basically got me in a choke position, threw me on the floor and head butted me. He was saying, ‘I’m from Palestine. You’re killing Jews.’ That’s all he said."
Lehbeib,26, reportedly yelled antisemitic slurs as he beat Binyaminovm Fox News reported. The assailant told police that he is a Palestinian from North Africa providing two addresses for New York City illegal immigrant shelters as addresses. He reportedly entered the U.S. through the Mexican border in Arizona. Authorities said he claimed to be seeking asylum.
Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Smith described the attack to Fox, saying, "When he approached and confronted the subject, he was met with an overhead right cross to his head. The subject continued to swing wildly and struggle with the victim, and at one point threw the victim to the ground."
Binyaminov was able to break away and dial 911 and told officers that before Lehbeib escaped he made "threatening and biased" statements and said, "I am Palestinian, and you Jews are killing Palestinians." He was later located by police and arrested.
After his arrest, the suspect continued to make antisemitic statements about how he hated Jews, according to the Post. Seemingly without remorse, he threatened future violence, telling the officers, "If I see the flag of the people that killed my people, we will have a problem."
Lehbeib now faces charges of second-degree assault, robbery, and criminal mischief and is being held on $50,000 bond following his arraignment in Nassau District Court Monday. A report from Newsbreak differs, stating that Lehbeib is being held on $100,000 bond by Judge Madeleine Petrara-Perrin.
Binyaminov blamed President Joe Biden's immigration policies for the attack on him telling reporters, "This is happening because of open borders, and before letting people in we need to see their backgrounds. We need to protect our country, our citizens, our taxpayers."
He added that his Hewlett neighborhood is "very quiet" and that "nothing ever happens." He observed, "I don’t know what he was doing in our neighborhood, targeting our Jewish members." Binyaminov concluded, "I know he’s facing a couple of felonies, but this was his choice."
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman seemed to share Binyaminov's view telling the outlet, “It’s very suspicious,” Blakeman said. “He came a long way from Staten Island to get here. If he’s looking for work why did he have nefarious ideas."
He added, “It’s absolutely crazy.” Blakeman also expressed his concerns over the flood of illegal immigrants coming over the border and staying in New York. “These aren’t people kissing the ground when they come here. They’re spitting on our flag,” he told the Post.“It’s an invasion. It’s a disgrace.”